Long time no blog! Between p/t interviews, camp, uni work, job application, and normal work and life it’s been a challenging few weeks. It does mean I have a huge amount to share though, so settle back and enjoy. I hope you find something hugely useful in this post.
You may notice I’ve now embedded a creative commons license at the bottom of my blog, and will now try to be a lot more ethical in my use of images (for a horror story of the consequences of not being careful read this blog post!). I have learned about the importance of using Creative Commons to get images that already have permissions attached (you still have to reference the source!) through Selena Woodward. To learn all about it read Selena’s blog post. She’ll show you how to use Google Advanced search to find them, how to use the creative commons search engine, and directs you to put a creative commons license on your own work. The goal is that I get confident at using this so I can teach my students to as well, which meets the Australian Curriculum’s ICT General Capability ‘Applying Social and Ethical Protocols and Pracitices when using ICT‘. Also, of course, it’s the right thing to do! If you find any additional information on ethical use of online resources let me know.
I am now also a huge fan of Google Docs. I use it for questions during quiet work time in Year 12 classes, a way for my debating team to collaborate, a way to share information (eg this Google doc for the presentation on Web 2.0 tools I have at the 2013 SAETA conference), and so on. What’s your favourite way to use Google Docs? To see a quick overview if you’re new to Google Docs I’ve embedded a short video below:
Year 10 Ethos Unit
I went to a presentation at the National English Teacher’s Conference a few years ago on the art of persuasion by Peter Pidduck. He advocated focusing on the ethos (character, credibility) part of the rhetorical triangle when doing persuasive writing with students. He said that students have trouble being specific about, and identifying, ethos. I have found that he is right, and have found it highly beneficial to focus on ethos (students seem to be already competent at logos and pathos). I have developed a unit of work, based on what I learned from Pidduck and the resources he gave me, that I have built up over two years. I now put it out there for sharing (feel free to use it) and feedback (let me know what you think) You can see the unit of work (sorry, I haven’t put the assignments on yet – they’re coming) on this Year 10 Ethos Unit wiki page.
My current subject at uni is focused on leadership, and I have found it incredibly interesting. I have found two resources have had a direct impact on my practices. One is an infographic (below) and another is a Ted Video (embedded below).
The above infographic by Mr G has taught me not to jump straight to the skills in anything new, but to spend time creating a shared vision, which is essential to transformational leadership. With the e-portfolio group I created a video to promote the vision that I shared with staff and ran a presentation at a staff meeting about the vision before inviting people to come and learn the skills. After the skills session I will spend time creating incentives for its use, eg getting staff to follow each other to create a connected professional network and commenting immediately on their posts so that they get responses for their efforts.
The Ted video below by Simon Sinek is fantastic for its simplicity. He says that when people want behavioural change they usually say what they want to happen, how it will happen, and then why. His claim is that effective leadership is about establishing why, then focusing on how, then dealing with the what. I warn you, after watching this video I have not been able to watch advertisements in the same way! One way I have implemented this is in the skills session I reiterated our vision first (our why), reiterated what people wanted to get out of the session (how what we were doing was of use), and then I will get into the technical details of what to do so create an e-portfolio. So simple, but incredibly powerful. I also ordered those reiterations in order of popularity based on the surveys of the participating staff to further connect with ‘why’ and create a sense of shared vision.
That’s enough for now! I’ve found a lot more stuff that it useful, and will share more with you soon.